Sina Leipold (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research)
Abstract: New narratives about a forest-based bioeconomy, circular economy or a green economy abound, promising a sustainability transition of the forest sector and society at large. Scientists and practitioners increasingly consider such new narratives to be cornerstones of sustainability transitions. Our knowledge on whether and how we can use narratives to foster sustainability transitions is, however, fragmented, if not ambiguous.
This presentation offers a discursive perspective on sustainability transitions. It provides a first exploration of the abundant literature on sustainability narratives. It then discusses the role of narratives and discursive agents for stability and change, illustrated by examples from circular economy narratives. The examples show various discursive dynamics that contribute to the persistent stabilization of dominant narratives and agents, locking in unsustainable (i.e. take-make-dispose oriented) industries, institutions and practices. Based on these examples, the presentation then proposes different pathways and strategic practices that may enable the creation of narratives that go beyond the status quo.
The presentation concludes by discussing possibilities and limits of narrative research for informing and stimulating the study of sustainability transitions – in the forest sector and beyond.
Sina heads the department of environmental politics at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany. Her research bridges social and environmental science with expertise from policy and practice to create new knowledge for a sustainable transformation of our society. She has studied environmental governance narratives in the fields of forestry, circular economy, bioeconomy, food, and packaging. To contrast governance narratives’ hopes of environmental improvements with potential real-world impacts, Sina coupled her results with environmental footprint and life cycle analyses and collaborated with practitioners from the private and public sectors as well as civil society. When she is not clinging to her laptop, Sina enjoys enjoy the outdoors and activities like cycling and jogging.
Kalame Fobissie (Fokabs Inc. / University of Ottawa)
Abstract: My discussion focuses on the science-policy-practice continuum in tropical forest policy. How is forestry research delivering the quality of science that should inform decision making in tropical forest policy formulation and implementation? What outputs and outcomes have been achieved, and what is their importance in the broader development context? To what extent is forestry research shaping existing and future forest policies and practices? I explore evidence-based international forest policy making by drawing on the cases of REDD+, FLEGT-VPA and forest landscape restoration. I present examples of the quality of research inputs, research process, research outputs and multiple communication channels used in disseminating scientific products to decision makers and practitioners. I consider the context of tropical forests within diverse multipurpose landscapes and examine the contributions of forestry research to national policy process and the achievement of sustainable development goals. Moving forward, where do we see opportunities for learning to inform current and future researchers, policy makers and practitioners?
Fobissie is the Founder of Fokabs Inc., a sustainability advisory firm with a mission to advance climate-smart development. He has provided advisory services in the areas of climate change adaptation and mitigation, climate policy, climate governance and finance, Nationally Determined Contributions, agriculture, and forestry to 50+ developing countries, to private companies and international organizations including the World Bank, the Green Climate Fund, AfDB, CGIAR, WWF, IUCN, and 10+ United Nations agencies. During the drafting of the Paris Climate Agreement, he led REDD+ technical negotiations for Africa. Fobissie is an adjunct Professor of Tropical Forest Management, University of Helsinki, Finland and an Adjunct Professor at the School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada. He holds a PhD in Agriculture and Forestry from Finland and an Executive MBA from Canada.
Science Policy Debate
Science –Policy –Society interactions within Europe. Do we need a new science policy interface for forests and forestry?
Authors: Agata Konczal and Georg Winkel
Speakers: Michael Pregernig (University of Freiburg), Esther Turnhout (University of Twente)
Panelists:Gerben Janse (Swedish Forest Agency), Saskia Ozinga ( FERN), Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg (Member of European Parliament), Jürgen Bauhus (University of Freiburg), Pierre Ibisch (Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development)
Investigative journalism meets science -What are the current practices, and how can science and investigative journalism work together?
Science-based investigative journalism is on the rise. To uncover the global links between commodity supply chain and deforestation in the tropics, it is becoming a common practice for investigative reporters to use the tools developed by research organisations and follow the work of scientific communities to identify the leads for stories. Despite these efforts already in place, how exactly investigative journalism is conducted is still to be discovered by many scientists and researchers. This is why we are taking a unique approach to offering a platform for these two communities to meet at IFPM. By bringing two journalists who have carried out investigative stories on the links between the global supply chain and deforestation in the tropics, this session aims to bridge the knowledge gap by uncovering how these investigative journalists have worked with scientific communities. The invited investigative journalists will share ‘behind-the-scene’ of their journalistic research process and the challenges they have faced in the process. It will then explore how these two communities could work better to ensure more evidence-based information in public.
Early career researchers’ competition
This competition spotlights students and early career professionals.
This Competition spotlights students and early career professionals. It was originally meant exclusively for students, but to be inclusive of quality abstracts received, participation was expanded to include recent graduates. The competition grants the participants the opportunity to present their research in 3 minutes – developing their research communication skills to effectively explain their subject.
The competitors will have 1 slide to summarize their research in just 3 minutes.
Directly after the presentations, the audience will be asked to vote for the most convincing presentation, using the voting function in Zoom (50% weight in determining winners). An expert panel will also separately vote (50% weight in determining the winners). The awards will be announced during the conference closure session and the decision will be final.
The award consists of a certificate and a prize.
FIRST PRIZE: award worth up to €500
SECOND PRIZE: award worth up to €300
THIRD PRIZE: award worth up to €200
Author: Elena Vissa (Etifor, Italy)
Author: Gordon Manu (FIID Research Group, Dresden University of Technology, Germany)
Author: Inna Salminen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Author: Ján Matúš Urbančík (Technical university in Zvolen, Slovakia)
Author: Johanne Eckelmann (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany)
Author: Lenka Haluskova (Technical University in Zvolen, Slovakia)
Author: Nasradeen A. H. Gadallah (University of Khartoum, Sudan)
Author: Simon Fleckenstein (Thuenen-Institute of International Forestry and Forest Economics, Germany)
Author: Theresa Klara Loch (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Session 1/ Parallel 1
Forests from local, national, global to digital scale
Chair: Irmeli Mustalahti (University of Eastern Finland)
Authors: Sarah Burns (Institute of International Forestry and Forest Products, Technische Universität Dresden), Lukas Giessen
Abstract: International regimes, defined as sets of norms and rules around which members’ expectations converge, are providing structures for facilitating cooperation in a given issue area. Two main lines of environmental regime scholarship prevailed thus far: one on structural design aspects of international institutions and one on their effects and effectiveness. Previous own results comparing small-N sample of regional regimes showed that issue focus, hegemony and formality of regimes are important for explaining regime policy. However, none of the three conditions analyzed are determinant in the development of strong or weak forest policy. Taking this as point of departure, the aim of this study is to analyze and compare the full population of international (global and regional) forest regimes and explain their forest policies. In so doing, a full compilation of all global and regional forest regimes, including key properties of institutional design, the regimes’ forest policies, as well as selected strong members will be carried out. Data will be analysed through a principal components analysis. Our results will reveal which properties of the regime’s institutional design (degree of formality, design of bureaucracies, internal regime power structure, issue specific power and issue focus) explain forest policy outputs.
Authors: Santi Pratiwi (University of Goettingen), Nataly Juerges
Abstract: The rapid development of digital information and technologies has spurred extensive research on how the use of new media platforms influences every aspect of life. However, there is limited research on the use of digital platforms to contest science-based policy at the science-policy interface. We observed the rise of digital advocacy related to the land-use conflict in the Kamojang Nature Reserve, which has competing land-use interests between forest conservation and other forms of utilization, such as geothermal, water, and tourism activities. The Ministry Decree that changed the land-use policy from restricted to accessible utilization has prompted conflicts in grassroots communities. Using the Research-Integration-Utilization model as an analytical framework, we observed the role of digital advocacy and social media at the science-policy interface of our case study. We found that the grassroots community played an important role by sharing scientific information of the Kamojang Nature Reserve using their social media and Internet platforms. The grassroots community also helped connecting researchers and policymakers, which encouraged re-evaluation of the conflicting land-use policy. Our case study concludes that digital advocacy through social media platforms could help improve the science-policy interface based on scientific evidence and interests of the relevant actors.
Author: Jelle Behagel (Wageningen University)
Abstract: Global forest loss and forest degradation cause global and regional climate change, extinction of species, and changed patterns of rainfall and drought, among others. The destruction of forested lands moreover threatens the lifeworlds and livelihoods of numerous Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. In forest policy studies, this topic is predominantly explored via network, institutional, and discursive analysis. Findings of these studies range from pessimistic accounts of failing institutions to more optimistic visions of slowly changing political paradigms (Arts 2021). There is however a struggle to offer a deeper understanding of how global forest politics and local governance come together to produce such outcomes. In this article, I argue that a more politicised understanding of the global-local nexus is necessary to provide a meaningful answer to that question. Specifically, I argue for the importance of exploring the political values of commitment, diligence, and ambition. I combine a targeted literature review with a few clear empirical examples to make the case how the values of commitment, diligence and ambition allow us to grasp the global-local nexus as well as think about how to turn the tide for forests and the people who depend on them everywhere.
Author: Maike Stelter (TU Braunschweig)
Abstract: The lack of a strong international institution in global forest governance and ongoing loss of forest area are often understood as a failure of global forest governance, mainly building on rationalist and institutionalist approaches. However, forest governance is a field of complex, partly overlapping and conflicting norms without a clear hierarchy or binding regulation. This paper argues, that a perspective on norms and norm dynamics between different levels is thus well suited to understand the governance of forests from international norms to local forest area. In recent years, norm scholars identified different norm dynamics including the localization and contestation of international norms, as well as multidirectional norm translation between different policy levels. This paper uses an integrated framework, combining forest governance and constructivist norm research, to unpack the inherent social dynamics and understand the local use of forests in relation to these. It presents empirical findings on the implications of international norms for local forest governance in Ghana, based on a literature review, expert interviews and remote sensing data. The paper contributes to different scholarly debates, examining multi-level norm dynamics of partly conflicting norm complexes as well as their implications for forest governance and the use of local forest area.
Author: Wenyuan Liang (Wageningen University and Research)
Abstract: While forest devolution, as one type of decentralization, is high on agendas in developing countries, recentralization has been recurring. This paper conceptualized ‘recentralized forest devolution’ in which the emerging recentralization has been both subsequent to and parallel with a devolution reform of Collective Forest Tenure Reform (CFTR) in China’s southern provinces. This paper updated a framework for analyzing decentralization and recentralization based on the policy arrangement approach. Case studies were conducted in four counties in Fujian and Yunnan provinces by tracing the governance dynamics from 2001 to 2019. Our study finds that the central government tightened upward accountability for environmental conservation under the discourse of Ecological Civilization since 2012. Despite the partially reserved forest devolution, the recentralized forest devolution emerged when the government restricted timber harvest for environmental conservation. Forest devolution could be more vulnerable than scholarly expectation but possible to interweave with recentralization. Discourses, actors, property rights, and power are interwoven in complex dynamics of decentralization and recentralization.
Session 1/ Parallel 2
People and forests - Developing the concepts and methodologies for researching human-forest-relationship and social relationships with nature
Chair: Jana Holz (Institute of Sociology, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena)
Our panel combines different social science and humanities approaches to forests. We aim at the basis of all policies – humans and society – by asking questions about different types of relationships with forests as a part of nature. We discuss the impacts of society, politics as well as individual mentalities on these relationships. We are introducing ongoing conceptual research and methodological discussions on the frameworks of human-forest-relationship and social relationships with nature. Both concepts are currently developed in an iterative process close to empirical case study research and are applied in studying various aspects of the Finnish forest sector (forest owners, forest professionals, forest culture, forest bioeconomy) and forests role in citizens’ everyday life. The four panelists provide insights into the different and sometimes contradictory meanings that individuals, communities and society attach to forests, their use and protection. Combining qualitative and quantitative research, the panel offers new approaches on the question how the complex relationships between people, society and nature can be studied and in how far these relationships influence potentials for as well hurdles to social-ecological transformation processes.
Authors: Tuulikki Halla (University of Eastern Finland, Forests and Bioresources Doctoral Program)
Abstract: In societies, people use forests and relate to them in several various ways. Occasionally, these different approaches cause tensions and escalate into conflicts. By studying human relationships with the forests, it is possible to make visible the different and sometimes contradictory meanings that individuals and communities attach to forests, and thus to broaden the understanding of forest-related conflicts and how they are generated.
In the human-forest relationship, the forest is always experienced somehow, either directly or indirectly in a certain natural, societal and cultural context. Direct experiences of the forest include physically being, moving and doing in the forest. Indirect experiences refer to forest-related thoughts, practices, memories, habits and emotions – which can occur both in the forest and in other situations.
These human experiences about forests can be explored with the help of phenomenology and hermeneutics. Phenomenology emphasizes the individual experience. Knowledge of the world around us is mediated through sensing and experiencing. In hermeneutics, knowledge is produced by interpreting the meanings emerging within these experiences. In my presentation, I will introduce the human-forest relationship concept and phenomenological-hermeneutic research method, and discuss the advantages or challenges of both concept and method in forest-related research.
Authors: Reetta Karhunkorva (University of Eastern Finland, Doctoral programme in Social and Cultural Encounters)
Abstract: Owning a forest is multidimensional and, in many ways, cultural. Both forest and forest ownership can mean many different things depending on the determinant and the defining situation. For the owner, the forest is a legal asset over which he or she has sovereign control, but ownership and the forest also have other meanings. The owner also has a broader relationship with the forest, a relationship with forests in general, and other forest-related roles.
At the heart of cultural research is the human process of meaning-making. The concept of culture is central to the structuring of meaning. Forest ownership and its meanings can be understood as a reciprocal, complex social relationship between the owner and the forest, linked to the life history of the owner, and at the same time both individual and communal. The important building blocks of the forest owner’s relationship with the forest are often personal experiences of the forest, acquired from childhood. The meanings of the forest for the owner may change over the course of a lifetime.
In this presentation, I will introduce a cultural studies perspective to the study of forest ownership. I will discuss ethnographic and reflexive research methods, narrative interview method and cultural analysis method. I will also reflect on the benefits of this approach to forest policy.
Authors: Jana Holz (Institute of Sociology, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany)
Abstract: Questions about different types of relationships with forests as a part of nature lie at the heart of all (forest) policies – or should do so, as I argue in my presentation. These relationships are influenced, maintained and changed in a complex web of societal settings and priorities, individual mentalities and the ‘natural’ reality of landscapes, tree species or waterways. My presentation introduces state of the art and still ongoing conceptual research on the framework of ‘social relationships with nature’ as an approach to capture socio-ecological mentalities from a relational and qualitative sociological angle.
The concepts will be introduced by firstly placing them within their theoretical background in sociological research by Pierre Bourdieu and the research tradition of societal relations with nature. Secondly, the basic outlines and main terms of the concepts are discussed. Finally, I briefly apply this conceptual framework to my case study of the Finnish forest-based bioeconomy with the focus on (sometimes contradictory) meanings that individuals as part of communities and society attach to forests and their use. The greater aim of the research is to contribute to questions about how far these relationships influence nature (and forest) policy and management as well as potentials for and hurdles to social-ecological transformation processes.
Authors: Sari Pynnönen (Natural Resources Institute Finland), Liina Häyrinen (Natural Resources Institute Finland), Sami Berghäll (University of Helsinki), Sirpa Tani (University of Helsinki), Katja Lähtinen (Natural Resources Institute Finland)
Abstract: The presentation deals with the results from a mail survey about what kind of roles forests play in everyday life of Finns, both adults and adolescents, and how they think about forests and their use. Spending time in forests is known to have many benefits for physical and mental health of people. Having positive experiences about nature from childhood has been connected e.g. to environment-friendly behaviour in adulthood. Changes in society, such as urbanisation and pressure from climate change diversify the relationships people have with forests.
The nationwide survey took place in spring 2020 with responses from about 450 youngsters ages between 13 and 17 years and from about 800 adults. Analysis of the survey draws from theories of nature relatedness and environmental education. The results show similar forest relationship patterns among the whole data. For example, securing the provision of different ecosystem services was considered important both by adults and adolescents, although with some differences in emphasis.
Considering different views and attitudes as well as the knowledge citizens have about forests is important for securing the acceptability of forest use and forest policy in a society. Our results help decision makers to take the various kinds of forest relationships into account on different levels of societal decision making.
Session 1/ Parallel 3
Governing forest risks – from policy to practice
Chair: Bernhard Wolfslehner (European Forest Institute)
Authors: Rijal Ramdani (University of Eastern Finland), Irmeli Mustalahti
Abstract: Due to the uncertain situation of climate change, multi-level actors such as civil society, private sector, national and sub-national government institutions as well as individuals are expected to have an adaptive capacity to face their vulnerability. This study analyses how the local community has used the collaborative approach as a strategical pathway in their everyday activities to adapt to the peatland fires and their vulnerability in situations where the fires impact their everyday lives. The research has been undertaken on the east coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, where the challenge of annual peatland fires has increased in the last 15 years. The research finding shows that the case study community conducted collaborative everyday adaptation through structural arrangements, co-creation of knowledge, and resource sharing in three stages, 1) anticipatory, 2) preparedness, and 3) response, through constructing canal blocks, conducting fire patrols and fighting fires, which enabled the community to reduce potential damage due to climate vulnerability. However, we argue that in order to support everyday adaptation, collaborative governance is needed to support building capability to act and not just concentrate capacities and activities to act.
Authors: Tyler Carney (University of Florida, School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences), Damian Adams, Daisy Andrews, Susanna Goewey, Raelene Crandall, Andres Susaeta
Abstract: Wiregrass (Aristida behrichiana/stricta) is an understory grass species used to retore the ecosystem health and function of longleaf pine (LLP; Pinus palustris) ecosystems. It is frequently the primary species seeded into restoration projects because it is known to carry the frequent, low intensity fires essential for ecosystem health. A limitation to restoration of LLP savannas is the availability of a sufficient amount of viable wiregrass seed or plugs. Here, we examine the limitations to restoration using wiregrass using interviews to identify and contextualize the economic and ecological barriers to wiregrass availability. We conducted semi-structured interviews of landowners and land managers. Employing thematic analysis, we identified eight emergent themes: 1) knowledge barriers must be overcome for restoration success, 2) restoration can be cost prohibitive, 3) site preparation is a major challenge, 4) fire is the dominant and most cost effective management method, 5) bartering and/or collaboration promotes restoration success, 6) a closed-loop/in-house management system is ideal, 7) changing weather conditions influences restoration success, and 8) restored ecosystems have intrinsic and other nonmarket values. These findings should help landowners and land managers address and overcome restoration challenges in LLP ecosystems and inform policy decisions and program design to promote successful LLP restoration.
Author: Carmen Rodríguez Fernández-Blanco (European Forest Institute)
Abstract: Wildfires have their origin in complex, multi-scalar socio-ecological interactions. As a consequence, Mediterranean, fire-prone territories can be understood as socio-ecological systems (SESs). The resilience approach is often applied to specific shocks affecting SESs (e.g. wildfires), which is often labelled as “specified resilience”. However, resilience scholars (Folke et al., 2010) have raised concerns about the dangers of becoming too focused on specified resilience, because in increasing resilience of specific parts of the system we run the risk of decreasing the resilience levels of the whole SES. Following this reasoning, this paper expands the focus beyond resilience to wildfires to socio-ecological resilience in fire-prone territories. By taking this approach to the Mediterranean region of Valencia (Spain), we put on the spotlight the defining socio-political, economic and ecological features of this territory, and we examine how their interactions influence the general resilience of the system, as well as their interlinkages to the wildfire issue in the region.
Authors: Michael Kirchner (Georg-August-University of Goettingen, Chair of Forest and Nature Conservation Policy), Max Krott
Abstract: Decisions and measures in natural hazard risk management (NHRM) could become more effective if they are based on current scientific information. But despite strong efforts of communication recent scientific information seldom reach practitioners or political actors on the decision-making level of NHRM. For being more successful in knowledge transfer the study aims to identify additional factors of knowledge transfer behind participation and communication of scientific information. We apply the novel RIU model for knowledge transfer on the case of the EU Alpine Space project GreenRisk4Alps which conducted research on ecosystem based NHRM strategies. The RIU model assumes that the scientific information has to be actively picked up from practitioners or political actors and has to be integrated into their praxis which happens in ‘integration forums’ by interest driven actors within power networks. Therefore, we checked if the concept for projects formulated in the EU Interreg Alpine Space program comprises links to actor’s interests and power who might apply the scientific findings in practice. Our results revealed that the EU Interreg Alpine Space co-productive model of knowledge transfer widely ignores the selection processes of scientific results by powerful actors and therefore miss highly relevant factors for the transfer of scientific knowledge.
Authors: Reneema Hazarika (Austrian Research Centre for Forests), Katharina Lapin
Abstract: Non-Native Trees (NNT) provide numerous benefits but are also known to pose risks to native biodiversity and ecosystem services. Currently, the NNTs are also being discussed in the context of climate change adaptation. This study in the European Alpine Space aimed to understand the stakeholder’s perception of the risks and benefits of NNTs. With 457 responses from a survey, we found no clear pattern on the perceived role of NNTs. We recorded 526 species of NNTs presently growing in the Alpine space. In addition to developing a framework for site-specific risk assessment, a public consultation was also conducted to develop a strategy for the NNTs in the Alpine Space. We also reviewed the legislation and regulations concerning NNTs and interviewed selected policy experts to build a robust understanding of the status of NNTs regarding risks and benefits. Forest experts perceive that the political discourse on NNTs mainly focuses on the potential risks such as invasiveness, while benefits are rarely discussed in national policies. Moreover, each country has different forest regulations concerning the NNTs which compound the challenges in harmonizing policies for management and utilization of the NNTs in the Alpine Space.
Authors: Sabeth Häublein (University of Freiburg), Andy Selter, Tanya Baycheva-Merger
Abstract: The water and forest nexus as a well-established issue in the natural sciences has recently gained increasing attention by environmental policy scholars. The intricate link between water and forest in the ecosystem is affected by consequences of climate change, possibly resulting in drought, forest dieback or flooding. The focus of our research are the ideas proposed on water and forest management in face of increasing frequency of risks in Germany. The analysis is based on the discursive institutionalism (DI) by Vivian Schmidt (2008), which has been used increasingly for in-depth explorations of ideas in their discursive and institutional context. For the analysis, a mixed method approach is chosen, combining survey results with a qualitative policy document analysis. First results show that both sectors see forest damages as the most relevant risks and mostly agree on which management practices respond to those risks. Despite this overlap, the two sectors remain disintegrated.
Session 1/ Parallel 4
Governance of forest ecosystem services
Chair: Maria Schlossmacher (European Forest Institute)
Author: Jeanne Lazya-Roux (European Forest Institute)
Abstract: Forests provide a multitude of benefits and services. With a growing interest in the kaleidoscope of services, the question arises if the provisioning of these services is supported by policy mechanisms and if there are sufficient incentives for forest owners to explore multifunctional forest ecosystem services (FES) innovations. Furthermore, different stakeholder groups have varying opinions of which FES needs to be promoted and why, and they have different perspectives on what are the right and equitable methods to do so. The study aims to identify and elaborate on the shared and contrasting approaches related to FES of the major policy actors at EU and member state level, their expectations related to the forest, as well as policy mechanisms supporting FES. By applying the cultural theory, we explored the perceived opportunities and challenges for FES at EU policy level, and how the challenges could be addressed. Accordingly, we conducted and qualitatively analyzed semi-structured interviews with EU forest stakeholders and policymakers and member state representatives. Understanding the different beliefs and preferences could assist in finding suitable policy-related mechanisms to address environmental issues and possibly even to find a middle-ground. This paper forms part of the H2020 project, SINCERE.
Author: Diana Carolina Huertas Bernal (Faculty Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague), Miroslava Hochmalová, Ratna Chrismiari Purwestri, Miroslav Hájek
Abstract: Fiscal and financial incentives, called economic instruments, can generate desired behaviors between producers and consumers; however, if the instruments are flawed in their design, they can adversely affect the environment and society. This article aims to identify the economic instruments implemented in the Czech Republic and Austria and analyze their implications on promoting forest cultural services (FCS) by comparing national forestry policies and national reports on environmental subsidies for promoting forestry, hunting activities, and potential entrance fees. It is identified that the subsidies funding the environmental initiatives are essential for promoting and enjoying natural areas. Finally, it is concluded that cross-border alliances should be encouraged, involving all possible actors to generate more efficient financing and management that supports the cultural uses of forests in the Czech Republic and Austria.
Authors: Miroslava Hochmalová(Czech University of Life Sciences), Stephen Awuni, Ratna Chrismiari Purwestri, Miroslav Hájek
Abstract: Forests provide non-material benefits from the ecosystems, through the experiences and senses in nature, such as recreation, spiritual and religious values, educational values, inspiration, aesthetic enjoyment, etc. The aim of the paper is to create an overview of policy instruments related to forest cultural services (FCS) in the forest policy documents in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Germany. By developing the overview, gaps and lessons learned from the studied countries were identified and some strategic measures in the field of human forest well-being and forest ecosystem services. The results showed that at the national level there is a lack of guidelines for culture services and their anchor in legislative documents. As the position of the studied countries are bordered with other Central European countries, therefore a challenge for the anchor of cultural services is to improve communication between different resort organizations and forest stakeholders within the country and between countries.
Authors: Marko Lovric (European Forest Institute), Mario Torralba, Francesco Orsi, Davide Pettenella, Carsten Mann, Davide Geneletti, Tobias Plieninger, Eeva Primmer, Monica Hernandez-Morcillo, Bo Jellesmark Thorsen, Thomas Lundhede, Lasse Loft, Sven Wunder, Georg Winkel
Abstract: Reporting on income and profitability of forestry in Europe has traditionally been associated with national-level sources, though more detailed, disaggregated data are available in some countries. This data often focuses on marketed products, does not account for regulating and cultural Forest Ecosystem Services (FES), often aggregating all income sources, and rarely addressing regional or local differences. We address these issues by providing a spatially explicit, European-level analysis of the relative importance of provisioning, regulating and cultural FES for forest income, income change and profitability, as reported by forest owners and managers. The results suggest that, unsurprisingly, most income is generated from provisioning forest ecosystem services (i.e. forest products); but up to a quarter of it comes from regulating and cultural FES. Despite their reported growing importance, supplying the two latter FES categories is rarely perceived as profitable. The dichotomization between provisioning FES on one side, and regulating and cultural FES on the other side permeates the spatial analysis, resulting in two distinctive European groups. The most important result is the fact that almost two thirds of Europe’s forests are exclusively financially dependent on income related to provisioning FES; which poses a threat to sustainable supply of regulating and cultural FES
Author: Valentino Marini Govigli (University of Bologna)
Abstract: Forests intangible values (e.g., emotions and spirituality) are key nonmaterial values supporting human wellbeing. However, their evaluation is far from trivial, as they are intertwined to people’s individual values and beliefs. The aim of this paper is to explore which participatory approaches can serve best to map and assess the emotional dimension of forestry ecosystem services. This is a research gap important to investigate as intangible spiritual values tend to disappear and change, thereby altering the socio-cultural construct behind the formation and preservation of a given forest landscape. This is crucial in forest communities that are threatened by socio-economic changes such as nature commodification, resources overexploitation, and declining demography. Different tools were evaluated, through both literature review and interviews with experts in participatory techniques (i.e, Sense of place, Future Search Conferences, World Café, etc.). Results suggest that emotions in forests have a double-faced nature, requiring both participatory community-level and individual-based techniques to be properly investigated. Place-based techniques emerge as also relevant. These findings are important as they provide an assessment of existing operational tools which can be used by forest-based communities to raise societal awareness around intangible values and to transform own traditional and spiritual values into socio-economic opportunities.
Session 2/ Parallel 1
Engaging in policy-making and implementation: tools and approaches used by CSOs in Asia to improve forest governance
Chair: Nathalie Faure (RECOFTC)
Introduction: Poshendra Satyal (Birdlife International)
Objective: Explore how the use of creative approaches including science-based recommendations and engagement with the media has helped CSOs in advancing forest governance
Format: The session will be articulated around four key areas that build on each other to discuss CSOs engagement with policy-making processes in Asia: – ‘Networking’ will explore the power of collective action. CSOs will share their experiences of engaging in the VPA and the land law reform as a network, and how the online environment has impacted their effectiveness (NGO Forum/FLEGT network) – ‘Capacity building and creating the evidence’ will discuss the importance of using evidence-based approaches and tools to support CSOs’ advocacy and building the capacity of journalists to engage in policy issues in the region (RECOFTC) – ‘Influencing’ will focus on policy advocacy strategies and the impacts of CSOs participation in the creation of a new law (SRD) – ‘Implementing’ will provide a concrete example of how the use of science has enabled legal implementation from the ground up, by communities and local authorities, in Thailand (Raks Thai) There will be brief presentations by CSOs on the tools and approaches used, followed by a panel discussion focusing on key issues and good practices.
Sophea Pheap (NGO Forum) – The power of networks to bridge the gap with policy-makers: the experience of NGO Forum in Cambodia
Adi Widyanto (Burung Indonesia) – The use of satellite imaging to support policy-making on timber legality in Indonesia
Sam Pedragosa (Haribon Foundation) – Strategies for policy-influencing, the role of CSOs in the Sustainable Forest Management bill enactment in the Philippines
Boonthida Ketsomboon (Raks Thai) – Foundation: A bottom-up approach to implementing legislation in Thailand, through the recognition of communities’ tenure rights
Session 2/ Parallel 2
Forests and cities
Chair: Clive Davies (European Forest Institute)
Authors: Zuzana Dobsinska (Forestry Faculty, Technical University in Zvolen), Jaroslav Salka, Robert Sedmak, Jan Bahyl, JurajCernava, Rudolf Kropil
Abstract: There is a growing need for science-based policy advice to support the decisions of national or local governments, especially in fields that are highly dependent on scientific knowledge such as forestry. Forest management in urban forests is subject to public attention, because of the growing demand for recreation. Ecosystem provision requires the involvement of various stakeholders to ensure acceptance of decisions. Finding a balance between forest management in terms of timber production and other ecosystem services provision is a challenging task that needs the involvement of scientists. This article analyses the process of science-policy transfer in formulating the agreement between State Forest Enterprise and the City of Bratislava on forest management restrictions in the urban forests using the RIU Model. The results show that scientific knowledge served as a baseline for negotiations between the State Forest Enterprise and local government. The final agreement on management restrictions and consequent compensations was reached after concessions on both sides.
Author: Meselu Mellaku (Natural Resource Economics & Policy)
Abstract: There has to date been limited research on the economic valuation of local outdoor recreational services of open recreational sites to inform policy and practice. This study attempts to fill this gap by estimating the annual recreational value of Tabor Mountain Recreational Park, an open-access recreational site in Hawassa City (also known as Awassa City), Ethiopia. This study employs single-bounded dichotomous choice and open-ended elicitation methods using primary and secondary data collected from 260 urban residents during June–August 2019. A complementary assessment of the determinants of local visitors’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) is also carried out. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression models were used to analyze the survey data. Overall 87% and 98% of the respondents were willing to accept the initial bid value and to give non-zero maximum WTP, respectively. On average, a local resident makes/intends to make 2.57 visits per month paying a mean entrance fee of ETB 28.33 per visit, which represents approximately ETB 93,498,000 ETB per year. Furthermore, average monthly income and the afternoon visiting time preference of a local visitor were found to have a positive effect on individuals’ WTP. Initial bid value, frequency of visits per month, number of dependent families, and age of local visitors had a negative effect on WTP. The substantial annual local recreational value estimate of Tabor Mountain Park reveals the potential of local financing alternatives for sustainable development and management of environmental resources in similar settings.
Author: Anna Zadrożna (Istanbul Policy Center-Sabanci University-Stiftung Mercator Initiative)
Abstract: The new vision for Istanbul is to make the metropolis “green”: establishment of green spaces (GS) is placed among prioritized actions, and their sustainable governance regarded crucial for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Nevertheless, it is not clear how decisions regarding GS governance are being made, who is involved in this process, and how crucial concepts such as sustainable governance and GS are actually understood. My research examines GS of different scales – ranging from urban forests and parks to playgrounds, road sides, or single trees – as socio-natures, and seeks to understand how Istanbul`s GS are being made, envisioned, and governed. It utilizes qualitative research methods such as socio-ecological assessment, ethnographic interviews, and analysis of municipality plans in order to produce practical guidelines for GS governance. This paper scrutinizes the process of GS governance and addresses the following questions: What are the main challenges of GS governance and establishment in Istanbul? How are decisions regarding GS being made? Who is involved and how? What is the role of scientists and expert-based knowledge in this process? Who is regarded “experts”? While arguing for science-based governance, I will reflect on the nexus between different kinds of knowledge and power in policymaking process.
Authors: Evelyn Coleman Brantschen (Berne University of Applied Sciences, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL), Grubenmann Vera, Arnold Rolf, Wilkes-Allemann Jerylee, Markovic Jelena
Abstract: Spatial planning and the forest are closely related and influence each other. In Switzerland however, the protection and use of the forest are not regulated in the Spatial Planning Act, but in the Forest Act. This has recurringly led to interface problems. With the revision of the Spatial Planning Act in 2014, the framework was created to reduce land consumption, and to initiate a process of densification in urban areas. This process may increase pressure on urban forest areas, despite their strict level of protection in the Forest Act, and policies aiming at improving the quality of life in cities through green infrastructure. So the interests of densification are opposed to the interest of forest conservation in an urban context. The aim of the study is to identify the factors which determine whether a clearing authorization for urban forests may be granted in the context of densification. An analysis of existing legislation and jurisdiction and the analysis of case studies from Canton Geneva based the Institutional Resource Regime (IRR) framework serve to identify these determining factors and the scope of action to conciliate seemingly contradictory policy objectives.
Session 2/ Parallel 3
Forests and Food
Chair: Lukas Giessen (Chair of Tropical and International Forestry, Institute of International Forestry and Forest Products, Technische Universität Dresden)
Authors: Sophia Carodenuto (University of Victoria), Marshall Adams
Abstract: The timeless effort to balance the trade-offs between nature conservation and socioeconomic development has recently come to the fore in Ghana – the world’s second largest producer of cocoa. In 2019, the government of Ghana introduced the Living Income Differential (LID) to raise the farmgate price per ton of cocoa as a direct response to the persistent challenge of poverty in cocoa farming communities. Many environmental justice advocates welcomed the LID policy because they consider poverty to be a root cause of deforestation and associated sustainability issues in the sector. At the same time, the LID as currently designed has the potential to generate significant adverse consequences, including increasing deforestation in the long term. In this research project, we apply the Q-methodology to better understand how domestic and international stakeholders perceive the potential of the LID to achieve its stated aims. The Q-method is well-suited for investigating highly debated and contentious policy issues because the approach reveals human subjectivities surrounding a policy, including where divergences in opinion lie. By including cocoa farmers in this study, we analyze the sustainability of cocoa production not only from a global commodity perspective but also from a local perspective, with regard to farmer rights and livelihoods.
Author: Natsuho Fujisawa (Wageningen University, Netherland and Kyoto University, Japan)
Abstract: Creating sustainable food systems while encouraging sustainable land and forest use is a crucial issue in rural forest areas. Previous research often focused on the relation between local land use and food production but paid little attention to local food consumption practices. This paper explore food consumption practices that form critical factors for food sovereignty in rural communities. It focuses on food selection, acquisition, and preparation, paying attention to livelihood strategies. Eight households of the Panamanian campesino community maintained daily food records for four months between 2014–2015. It revealed that, while purchased rice is the most frequently consumed staple food, various verduras (root, tubers, and bananas) were also important daily food sources. Consumption of such verduras contributed to efficient use of diversified land use, including swidden plots and fallow forest, coffee agroforestry, and home garden. It also promoted local food markets between households with different livelihood strategies. Food culture with locally produced verdura contributes to food sovereignty in rural societies. The land management plan should consider local food consumption practice as a critical component.
Author: Nicholas P Ndlovu (University of Freiburg, Chair Group of Forest and Environmental Policy)
Abstract: There is a growing interest in agroforestry from a policy perspective. In a number of countries, agencies are developing objectives and strategies that integrate agroforestry into their policies. However, policies alone do not guarantee wide scale adoption and implementation of agroforestry technologies. During policy implementation, new issues emerge and policies encounter practically challenging realities, such resistance from affected sectors and resource needs. Synchronously, no single institution can implement agroforestry without support from other actors; because as a concept, agroforestry sits between a number of policy fields consisting of multiple actors with diverse needs and values. These different actors work in silos, and remain governed by different policies that do not necessarily share common agendas or resources. Hence, healthy coordination among actors is advocated as vital in agroforestry implementation. However, the process of coordination is fraught with challenges emanating from factors such as governance structures and the policy environment. There is little knowledge on how actors are coordinating these different agroforestry policies. There is a need to fill this gap and understand this coordination dimension in agroforestry. Therefore, this study sheds light on the policy coordination process of agroforestry in Malawi.
Authors: Temitope Rebecca Abisoye (University of Cape Town), Toyeeb Atanda
Abstract: The Nigeria government was among the 153 countries that signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) agreement in 1992 yet it is far from achieving the biodiversity objectives. Agriculture remains the largest sector of employment to more than 36% of her citizen and contributing an average of 24% to the nation’s GDP over the past seven years (2013 – 2019) and representing the least group of carbon emission in the country updated NDC documents yet representing high channel for biodiversity loss. While focus is more on reducing carbon emission in the country, nature-based solutions for agricultural landscape received the least attention. Taking CAADP as an example for Nigeria agricultural policy, the focus is more on improving productivity and capacity building for farmers. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan recognises the roles of rehabilitating degraded landscape but there is no programme designed to mainstream biodiversity into agricultural landscape just the way there are plans for food production. However, to date there has been no overall national approach to rehabilitation which aims to restore ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. This paper made a review into the Nigeria forestry, agriculture, biodiversity, and climate policies, and discussed the challenges of mainstreaming biodiversity into agricultural landscape.
Authors: Ahmad Peerzada Ishtiyak (Faculty of Forestry, SKUAST Kashmir)
Abstract:Sustainable use and management of non-timber forest products (NTFP) have proven ecological and economic benefits, particularly for the world’s rural poor. Temperate Himalayan Region of Kashmir has a rich diversity of valuable NTFP. More than 60% population of the region is heavily dependent on these resources for livelihood sustenance, income generation and employment. Apart from their demand in the local traditional systems, temperate NTFP are sought for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, food, and beverage industries driven by the mounting consumer demand for diversified bio-products. Despite this, NTFP are not adequately recognized in the regional economy due to lack of governance mechanism and fragmented value chains. Hence, this study leverages on the bioresources vision of bioeconomy, focusing on the diversification of NTFP value chains with emphasis on production, processing, upgrading the raw materials, marketing, and distribution from traditional value chains to advanced supply chains. The study examines the hypotheses that the NTFP have a potential to contribute to bioeconomy through diversification of value chains and increased access and benefit sharing model.
Session 2/ Parallel 4
Protection vs. conservation and the discourse research
Chair: Georg Winkel (Wageningen University and Research)
Author: Theresa Frei (European Forest Institute)
Abstract: Natural forest regrowth (NFR) happens at a large scale in some regions of Europe, contributing to the overall forest expansion in Europe since the beginning of the 20th century. NFR has far-reaching implications at ecological, economic, and societal scale, leading to land management and governance challenges in the respective regions. Some researchers have underlined the potential opportunities of NFR for ecosystem services provision, such as climate regulation and energy provision. Others pointed at potential disbenefits and risks regarding aspects such a forest fire risk, cultural landscape conservation or societal acceptance. Today, the restoration of ecosystems is an important pillar to meet policy objectives in the Europe tackling the global climate and biodiversity crisis. Given this raise of restoration as a policy goal, the question arises to what extent NFR can contribute to EU restoration targets by using synergies between environmental objectives and (anyhow occurring) socio-economic land use developments. In this presentation we want to discuss the interdisciplinary results of our paper, presenting challenges and opportunities of NFR regarding 1) biodiversity, 2) climate change mitigation and adaptation, 3) societal perceptions, and the 4) political setting. Subsequently, we draw conclusions on the future governance of NFR in Europe.
Author: Philipp Mack (Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy/Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg )
Abstract: As a consequence of drought, heat and bark beetle outbreaks, the situation of forests in Germany has sparked intense debates, framing it as a “forest crisis”. In the light of this crisis, actors from different sectors seek to place their perspectives in the public and political debate in order to provoke policy change. In doing so, actors from varying sectors highlight the urgency in implementing their proposed measures concerning the challenges of climate change and the role of forests in mitigating it. While recent studies show a balance between forestry and nature conservation, actors from the nature conservation sector have a low standing in the media. Against this background, the paper investigates the role of nature conservation in the recent debate on German forests. For this purpose, we conduct a discourse analysis of newspaper articles and policy documents. The aim of the research is to analyse the impact of public and political discourses on decision-making processes. Therefore, it focuses on the valorisation of forests with regard to climate change and its effect on the consideration of nature conservation aspects in forest management. Thus, the research contributes to the debate on integrating climate change and biodiversity concerns from a discourse perspective.
Authors: Venla Wallius (University of Jyväskylä / European Forest Institute), Annukka Näyhä
Abstract: In the transition from our current fossil-based economy towards a more sustainable circular bioeconomy, wood and wood products substituting fossil-based products and materials play a key role. However, the market potential and uptake of especially emerging wood-based products is also dependent on the preferences of consumers and other stakeholder groups. In particular, consumer awareness has found out to be a limiting factor. To study the nature and extent of information that Finnish consumers can reach from traditional newspapers, a media analysis was carried out. This paper presents an analysis of discourses found in the Finnish print media regarding new wood-based products and innovations as well as their potential in bioeconomy transition. Two leading national newspapers were included in the analysis, examining articles published between 2019 and 2021. Moreover, grey literature including national policy documents was reviewed. The results show that while the potential and role of new and emerging wood-based products substituting for fossil-based products is acknowledged, there is only a little information about these products and innovations available via the print media. In order to improve the market uptake and attractiveness of new wood-based products, more accessible and understandable information about these innovations would be needed.
Author: Tobias Schulz (Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL)
Abstract: In 2016, strict quantitative forest area protection had been relaxed considerably in Switzerland. Originally, while the forest law bans forest clearances in principle, the exceptions had to be compensated by reafforesting an area in vicinity. With the relaxation, forest clearances can now also be compensated by implementing nature conservation measures within or outside of the forest. This is the rule in areas in which the forest area is growing, e.g. the mountainous areas, but should stay the exception in all other areas. The pressure from agriculture to make this the general rule for the entire forest area is enormous, however, as agricultural land is under pressure not only due to the expansion of the settlement area but also due to various such biodiversity offsetting requirements. This paper reports the results of a one-day meeting in which stakeholders concerned with this development participated and that was set up in a manner to implement the Q-method surveying technique in a workshop format. The analysis of the statement sorting exercise and the additional qualitative information results in differentiating three groups of stakeholders that represent fundamentally differing views on the problem and also helps identifying possible solutions.
Author: Anna Begemann (European Forest Institute)
Abstract: The EU is currently developing new legislation on sustainable finance including a classification to define sustainable investments also into forestry. While investment products that are labelled as green or sustainable are on the rise, sustainable finance is still a blurry term which has led to a plethora of voluntary standards, initiatives, and investment approaches. As there is currently no academic literature to our knowledge that connects sustainable finance with forests and the EU process is still ongoing, we investigate in our study how different experts currently perceive and narrate the links between the two. Based on 51 expert interviews with experts from financial institutions, timberland and impact investors as well as civil society and research, we find that 2/3 of interviewees agree that there is no common understanding. We thus identify 5 main narratives that outline common threads and differences. While financial experts are mainly using a risk approach to communicate on the topic, forest/environmental experts are stressing opportunities. Some experts in both sectors are sceptical of the potentials of using private investments for forests as there are seen to be a “public good”.
Session 3/ Parallel 1
Forests in the hybrid media system – exchange on approaches for analyzing traditional and social media communications
Chair: Ida Wallin (University of Freiburg, Germany)
Authors: Ida Wallin, Philipp Mack (University of Freiburg, Germany)
In an ever more connected world, individuals and actors communicate their ideas and opinions through different media platforms with potentially large-scale influence on policies and social, political, and economic behavior. Especially on social media platforms individuals and organizations shape and reshape their own and others’ frames, narratives, and discourses. The traditional media logic has been replaced with new patterns of interactions where traditional media producers and professionals have adapted their practices to this new logic. The complex interactions of different media outlets of today have been conceptualized as the hybrid media system by Andrew Chadwick (2017).
With this panel we want to facilitate an exchange between researchers engaged in or interested in analyzing new and traditional media communication related to forests and forestry. The focus is on conceptualizations and methodological solutions for how to analyze forest related communication in the hybrid media system. The presenters convey current knowledge about media analysis related to forests, forestry and human-forest relationships using different media sources, incl. Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, news media, blogs, and press releases. The joint discussion invites to reflect on the potential of the hybrid media systems approach to understand the interdependencies of different streams of communication about forests and forestry.
Authors: Ida Wallin, Philipp Mack
Author: Nicole Still (University of Freiburg, Germany)
Abstract: Cultural ecosystem services such as aesthetic value have become increasingly important for consideration in forest management and conservation planning processes. Aesthetic value, in particular, underpins many other forest services and is heavily influenced by management, yet it remains challenging to quantify, value, and incorporate into planning strategies. Fortunately, increasingly available social media data provides new opportunities to quantify and understand the aesthetic appreciation for and perception of forest ecosystems. Using analyses of Flickr photos taken between 2010 and 2020 in the Black Forest landscape of southwestern Germany as a case study, we will discuss the applications, limitations, and outlooks for using publicly-shared photo data to understand forest aesthetic values for improved planning considerations. We will share the findings from a landscape-scale spatial analysis, highlighting the necessity of nuance in photographic content and spatial scale, as well as present a novel interdisciplinary approach for assessing the contributory roles of structural and biological forest elements to a forest’s aesthetic value. This research provides useful guidance for future applications and valuable insights for bridging the gap between aesthetic evaluations and management planning.
Author: Mi Sun Park
Abstract: Urban greening policies have been established and implemented to improve the living conditions for urban dwellers in the process of urbanization. This research examines urban greening policies in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Media content analysis is applied to identify and interpret frames on urban greening. Articles about urban green spaces published from the DPRK newspaper Rodong Shinmun from 1959 to 2018 were analyzed with an ecosystem service approach. The articles presented three frames on urban greening policies; diagnostic, prognostic and motivational. The diagnostic frame of the media identified the values and functions of urban green spaces with an ecosystem service approach. Our findings reveal that edible trees in urban areas were highlighted as provisioning services; disaster control and environmental protection, as regulating and supporting services; and recreation and landscape, as cultural services. The prognostic frame proposed a strategic planning system for urban greening through integration between the forest and urban sectors. The motivational frame of the media encouraged people’s participation in a nation-wide mass movement for urban greening that links responsibility and patriotism. Therefore, in the DPRK, media frames provide us with insights of urban greening policies; (1) emerging new concepts of urban forests as spaces for creating sustainable conditions in metropolitan areas, (2) integrating the forest and urban sectors, and (3) diversifying stakeholders including urban communities as policy target group.
Full article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2020.102394
Author: Marie Widengård (University of Gothenburg) & Sara Holmgren (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
Abstract: Whether we have time to cut down forests has become a highly polarised question. Some argue that standing forest is the best carbon sink to address climate crisis ‘now’, while others have come to believe that increasing harvest will buy time. In this article, we discuss how time organises our thoughts on climate-friendly forests, particularly the efforts by media to intervene in these temporal issues. Drawing on theorisations of time from social theory and media studies, we are inspired by the idea that media technologies produce time: they perform real-time but also right-time, understood as an opportune time and timeliness. The multiple temporalities of forests and the temporal powers of media technologies have been researched at length, but the temporal power of journalists has rather been overlooked, least their role in performing time in relation to forests and climate change. This paper addresses this gap, and asks how journalists frames the temporality of climate-friendly forests. We do so by analysing Sweden’s biggest morning paper, particularly by drawing on a 5-piece series on the forest in 2012 and a 50-piece series in 2021. Swedish media is increasingly becoming a key site where the Swedish forest is battled out, and while many agree on the urgency of the climate issue, views are divided on which temporal perspective to adopt to assess the right approach forward. This paper contributes to a long-lasting debate on various media times, building on the idea that media has a performative role in structuring temporality. We do so by asking how time is being used by journalists to mediate the role of forests, what is the right-time that gets promoted and how is the wrong-time filtered out?
Session 3/ Parallel 2
Exploring the new era of anti-deforestation regulatory governance of forest-risk commodities
Chair: Yitagesu Tekle
Author: Metodi Sotirov
Abstract: The policy debate around global forest governance increasingly focusses on so-called forest-risk commodities, such oil palm, cocoa, or soy as well as timber and pulp in driving the loss of forests especially in the tropics, and the need to regulate for legal and sustainable supply chains. Companies involved in such commodities have formulated goals and adopted strategies to decouple their business from forest-risk commodity driven deforestation, for example, as part of zero deforestation commitments, but it remains largely unknown how this has affected their behaviour and impacts. Major consuming markets, such as the European Union, have also recently launched new policy initiatives to regulate supply chains of forest-risk commodities seeking to minimize their contribution to global forest loss. Other consumer countries like UK, USA, and China have also started adapting their policy and legal frameworks to regulate FRC. Simultaneously, the governments of countries at the supplying end of commodity value chains probably have the most effective regulatory tools at their disposal, but national policy mixes are often incoherent and poorly aligned with demand side initiatives. In all these cases, little is known about the design, implementation and impacts of the intended, perceived or actual policy and firm level changes. At the same time, this new generation of transnational governmental and/or business led governance processes has evolved not in isolation, but rather in the context of already existing public, private or mixed instruments such as Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreements (FLEGT VPAs), Payment Schemes for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), and certification of sustainable forest management and chains of custody (FSC, PEFC, etc.).
Our panel explores the newly emerging regulatory governance landscape made of different approaches by public and private actors to address legality and sustainability aspects of forest-risk commodities and associated supply chains. Presentations will capture the viewpoints of both public and private sectors, of both “producing” and “consuming” countries of forest-risk commodities, and compare the designs, implementation as well as the expected or actual impacts of public, private and mixed anti-deforestation regulations. The presentations will be followed by a moderated discussion session with the audience. Thereby, we explore existing strengths, weaknesses, and ways forward for governing forest-risk commodities globally.
Author: Lyla O’Brien
Abstract: The United Nations’ mechanism, REDD+, was developed to reduce deforestation and degradation of tropical forests, a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While many REDD+ interventions have been implemented at the pilot level, there is a need to scale-up interventions to inform nationwide implementation of REDD+ strategies and policies and meet global GHG emissions targets, international restoration targets, and the Sustainable Development Goals. To achieve this aim, knowledge on the conditions that foster successful upscaling is needed. Therefore, this study investigates what factors enable or hinder the upscaling of interventions and how factors thought to be connected with successful upscaling are realised in practice in two distinct case studies in Côte d’Ivoire. We reviewed scientific literature and conducted in-depth interviews with stakeholders engaged in the implementation and/or upscaling of REDD+ and PES pilots as well as EU REDD Facility experts. Preliminary results show that active engagement of stakeholders is the most cited enabler for successful upscaling among stakeholders, while poor governance and weak regulatory frameworks is the most cited obstacle. This finding, combined with results of how key factors for upscaling are realised in practice, will help to develop lessons-learned to inform upscaling on a national scale.
Author: Frederik Buchholz
Abstract: This study addresses potentials and limitations of transnational socio-environmental governance of the palm oil supply chain between the EU and Indonesia/Malaysia. Hereby, it explores particularly the likelihood of the European Commission to successfully engage through the EU Communication (2019) on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests in complex governance landscapes and shape them to further public policy objectives. In order to arrive at conclusions, the study introduces “orchestration”. Normatively, orchestration allows to theoretically conceptualize public actors as stewards that are required to embrace existing governance landscapes by applying diverse measures to align governance initiatives within them. Analytically, several factors have proven in earlier studies as productive to assess the likelihood of public actors to successfully orchestrate transnational governance. In characterizing facilitative and directive orchestration measures outlined in the EU Communication (2019), assessing interest (mis)alignments related to the upcoming EU Deforestation Regulation, and synthesising empirical literature on the visibilities of negative palm oil supply chain externalities to EU consumers and the regulatory fragmentation of its governance landscape, this study concludes a low to medium likelihood of the European Commission to successfully orchestrate transnational socio-environmental governance of the palm oil supply chain between the EU and Indonesia/Malaysia.
Author: Mathias Cramm
Abstract: Since the early 2010s, corporate zero deforestation commitments emerged as a prominent element of supply chain governance. Existing research on companies involved in forest-risk commodities and on their zero deforestation commitments has mainly focused on the commitments as declarations of intent and on effects of the commitments on forest. However, there is a lack of understanding of what the commitments actually are and mean in an operational sense to the companies that make them. For instance, it is poorly understood what changes have taken place (or not) in the companies and their operation as a result of the making of commitments. As a result of these knowledge gaps, the understanding of zero deforestation commitments as a key approach as employed by companies, and of companies as a key actor in zero deforestation, remains limited. This study will fill these gaps through a questionnaire and interviews with 30 companies, and through interviews with non-company actors knowledgeable of corporate zero deforestation commitments. Based on the lessons learned, one of the expected outcomes is to inform more conducive and coherent governance between private zero deforestation implementation and public policies, and thus to enable enhanced effectiveness of zero deforestation commitments.
Authors: Laila Berning & Metodi Sotirov
Abstract: Building on policy feedback and previous experiences with European Union (EU) policy and governance mechanisms in the forest sector, the EU has recently started developing new regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms to close a regulatory gap for the import of forest-risk agricultural commodities. These political changes revive largely unexplored processes of external action-oriented EU policy change and stability within the ‘transnational timber legality regime’. Drawing on a synthetic application of regulatory policy change theories, we take an actor-centred perspective of coalitional politics in qualitatively analysing the central policy core beliefs and interests of key involved state and non-state actors, the resulting advocacy coalitions and strategic alliances to investigate and explain the emergence, design and expected impacts of the new EU zero deforestation policy. Our results show that (1.) building a ‘PRO Regulation Alliance’ across policy advocacy coalitions has facilitated a contested momentum for new EU zero-deforestation trade rules. (2.) This powerful alliance of state and non-state actors is opposed by a weaker CONTRA-Coalition of some (traditional) corporate actors and opposing producer countries. At the same time, (3.) economically-oriented interest groups joined the ‘PRO-Alliance’, indicating a strategic power redistribution. This strategic PRO-Alliance (4.) brings together the underlying normatively conflicting but pragmatically converging goals of supporting environmental leadership and market protection, raising important questions concerning the potential impacts and legitimacy of EU-led transnational environmental trade policies that require sustainable production practices abroad.
Authors:Jorge Sellare & Jan Börner
Abstract: Soybeans are one of the most important sources of protein for food and feed and also serve as bioenergy feedstock. However, increasing global demand for soy is putting significant pressure on forestland and other biodiversity rich areas in producing countries, especially in Brazil, the largest producer and exporter of soybeans. Although Germany and other European countries have been reducing soy imports from Brazil, around one third of German soy imports are still sourced from Brazil, either directly or via re-exports from other European countries. Despite the increasing awareness of soy-related sustainability issues, finding effective solutions remains a daunting challenge. Here we provide an analysis of the status quo of soy imports from Brazil, focusing on demand-side policy measures and on the perspectives of German stakeholders. Our goal is to explore whether German stakeholders and their international partners could more effectively contribute towards reducing the negative sustainability impacts of soy production. Our discussion is based on multiple sources of secondary data, such as reports and position papers from several organizations, research articles, and trade data. Furthermore, we conducted semi-structured interviews with German stakeholders from an industry association, stakeholder dialogue platform, retailing sector, development agencies, and the civil society, to capture their perspectives on the main sustainability challenges in soy supply chains and alternative policy mechanisms. .
Session 3/ Parallel 3
People’s forest – bottom up and local initiatives in forest governance
Chair: Agata Konczal (European Forest Institute)
Author: Krzysztof Niedzialkowski (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences)
Abstract: Forest governance in Poland is characterised by the dominance of public forest ownership and the prevalence of top-down policy mechanisms. These governance arrangements, characteristic for post-socialist countries, have traditionally been challenged by environmental NGOs, who advocated stronger protection of old-growths. Recently, however, institutional stability of the field has been increasingly influenced by numerous citizen initiatives responding to expert-based and technocratic management decisions in their local environment. These initiatives, which so far have not been analysed scientifically, vary in terms of the issues addressed, methods used to promote them, and local actors involved. In the presented paper I use this data base, supplemented by a few semi-structured interviews with the activists, to explore the character of those initiatives, actors involved, and their main postulates. Based on this, I analyse the main challenges posed by these initiatives to the traditional forest management in Poland. I imply that the growth of bottom-up, non-expert initiatives indicates a growing diversity of believes and values regarding forests and increasing determination of local people to have an impact over local environmental decisions. However, due to the dominant position of a public forest organisations the new initiatives have so far failed to stimulate a policy change.
Author: Bettina Joa(Forest Research Institute Baden-Wuerttemberg), Wiebke Hebermehl
Abstract: At least since climate-related forest damages became visible on a larger scale, more and more people in Germany are concerned about “their” local forests and feel the need to engage in its preservation and in reforestation. Using a mixed-methods approach, we investigate both corporate and civic volunteering in reforestation in the German federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Firstly, through interviews and participatory observations, we analyze the various motivations of companies, citizens and initiatives to voluntarily engage in reforestation as well as the opportunities and challenges arising from this commitment. Secondly, we use quantitative data collected through a representative online panel survey, to run regression models in order to discover variables that influence the chance that citizens participate in forest volunteering projects. Based on these comprehensive findings, we thirdly develop recommendations for forest professionals who wish to host and facilitate volunteering projects in their forests. Our results show that volunteering in reforestation is not only a chance for volunteers to get active and experience self-efficacy in fighting climate change and its effects, but also a chance for professional foresters to share, exchange and reflect their views on forests, forestry and the challenges they face in their daily work.
Author: Benjamin Poscher (TU-Dresden), Eckhard Auch, Christoph Aicher
Abstract: This research explores the causes of the development and performance of two community forests using a mixed-methods inductive approach in the form of a comparative case study. In total 101 interviews, two participatory wealth rankings, and two forest inventories consisting of 52 randomly distributed sample plots were used for the research. Over 35 causes were discovered through the villagers of both villages for the specific outcome which were further investigated in the study. In order to understand the change of the cause-effect relations in time, the development of the community forests was reconstructed using baseline data from previous research of the studied cases. Lastly, the discovered causes of the cases were related to the results of a performance assessment to derive the main causes for the differences in the development and performances in both cases. 10 different groups of factors that influenced the development of both cases were further discussed with the literature, and another 10 recommendations are given to improve the situation of community forestry in Myanmar.
Author: Shambhu Charmakar(Forest Institutions and International Development)
Abstract: Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) has gained momentum worldwide in last over four decades. Studies show that differential outcomes in social and economic terms are linked to power and institutional dynamics. Power and institutions are inextricably interwoven. However, the concept of power and power manifestations in reshaping CBFM persists in fragmented or in tacit forms. This paper employs a global systematic review of 329 cases from 56 countries to establish the manifestations of power in CBFM. Furthermore, we provide empirical insights from Nepal, a pace-setting in CBFM in the global south. Overall, preliminary findings suggest: i) power exists at different levels, forms and spaces, and influences the emergence, forms and functions of CBFM institutions; ii) majority of the literature focused on the relational dimension of power in which external actors manifest power resources (coercion, (dis) incentives and dominant information) to reshape forest ecosystem services management institutions at local level; iii) empirical evidence and insights further show that actors at local level, with better socio-political positions, economic wellbeing, ethnicity and gender, could navigate and adapt to diverse exogenous/formal and endogenous/informal institutions. This paper suggests a clear understanding of the consequences linked to the dynamics of actors’ power in sustainable CBFM.
Session 3/ Parallel 4
Forest policies in national contexts
Chair: Helga Pülzl (European Forest Institute)
Authors: Giorgia Bottaro (University of Padova), Ludwig Liagre, Davide Pettenella
Abstract: The European Union (EU) is making significant efforts to support the recovery process after the Covid-19 pandemic, allocating more than €672.5 billion to the EU Member States (MS). The present survey aims at comparing the the 26 National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) describing the presence of key forest-related themes. A cluster analysis was implemented to distinguish the presence of common elements among the NRRPs. Forest investments are considered important for eleven EU MS, in four countries there is no mention to forests. Approaches followed to include the forestry sector are very heterogeneous, far from having a common conceptual framework for forest policies. Climate change play a key role in the financing of new forest investments, mainly in relation to forests adaptation. The relevance of forests for supporting bioeconomy emerged, with various MS recognizing innovations as critical. Funding allocated is very limited, with some exceptions for ambitious forest actions. The cluster analysis identified three clusters describing MS related to forest themes. Distinction were found between: conservative and inward-looking oriented countries vs innovative and outward-looking ones, and MS oriented to boost wood-related provisioning ecosystem services (ES) vs MS oriented towards a multifunctional use of forests (considering mainly regulating and cultural ES).
Authors: Chidiebere Ofoegbu (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden), C. Ifejika Speranza
Abstract: In South Africa, forests can play an important role in achieving the broader goals of climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, national policies on climate change mitigation and adaptation seem to narrow the potential contributions of the forest sector to climate protection targets. This is largely because of the divergence between the management goals of forests for climate protection, and products for both industries and livelihoods. This article uses discourse analysis as a methodological tool to analyze South Africa’s climate and forest policies to identify the discourses shaping forest policy goals and mandates, and their integration into climate policy targets for forest-based climate change interventions. Four discourses, namely, preservation of forest integrity, social inclusiveness, equitable benefit sharing, and inclusive development of forests and forest-based communities, were identified as the dominant discourses influencing forest policy goals in South Africa. Their influence on forest management programmes has a mix of costs and benefits outcomes. For example, policy responses to the discourse on the preservation of forest integrity have resulted in ecologically sustainable forests in some cases and in other cases restricted the participation of local people in forest enterprise development. Additionally, climate policies recognized six possible interventions with respect to forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation in South Africa but were silent about the four discourses shaping forest policy goals. Consequently, existing climate policies do not contain regulations to guide forest management for climate change mitigation and adaptation. We therefore recommend that forest-related goals in climate policy be grounded in the past experiences and lessons of forest policy implementations in order to take advantage of the synergies and reduce the trade-offs with respect to multipurpose management of forests for livelihoods, enterprise development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Authors: Bogdan Popa, Liviu Nichiforel
Abstract: The process of designing a new forest strategy in Romania has triggered the need for reassessing the set of criteria and indicators for evaluating the Romanian forest policy implementation. This paper identifies the relevant national strategic directions formulated during the stakeholder consultation process or arising from the 2021 EU Forest Strategy and, consequently, examines whether pan European Indicators for sustainable forest management are reliable enough to satisfy the information needs for monitoring the progress along these directions. For each strategic direction, we identified what and whether pan-European indicators are sufficient and adequate (in present form or with adjustments) and we also proposed additional country specific indicators that are needed for informing the policy decision. Based on a set of interviews with experts and representatives of forest sector specific policy formulation and enforcement institutions, recommendations for data collection, processing and reporting are made, both for pan-European Indicators and country specific indicators, in Romanian institutional and regulatory context.
Authors: Temmu Harrinkari(University of Helsinki), Kanniainen, Teija, Korhonen-Kurki, Kaisa, Tikkanen, Jukka, Toivonen, Ritva
Abstract: Since the 1990s, Finland has faced major societal changes, deriving from economic, social, and environmental fields, that have affected forests and forest-based livelihoods. Accumulating environmental awareness led to the incorporation of environmental aspects into forest policies, and new concepts like sustainable development and multi-objectivity appeared into the forest discourses and policies. Thus, we ask, what have been the main societal needs guiding the forest policy making in Finland, how these drivers and the concept of sustainability as a policy goal have been translated and incorporated into policy means, and how effective and efficient the selected means have been. The study explores the different forms of forest use. Also, non-wood forest products sector is examined as a case study representing a potential business branch. A content analysis of the policy documents between the years 1990–2020, and qualitative interviews of the stakeholders were conducted. Preliminary observations indicate that there are various goals, some in contradiction between each other. The heterogeneity of the forest owners affects the potential effectivity of policies by complicating the design of policy instruments. Sustainability considerations have a risk to become imbalanced due to various policy goals.
Author: Jón Geir Pétursson(University of Iceland)
Abstract: Achieving forest transition, hence turning from deforestation to forest gain is significant policy challenge. At Glasgow COP29 in 2021 most countries pledged to seek forest transition, hence, halt and reverse global deforestation by 2030. Most countries have developed land use policies to counter the degrading effects of forest loss. There is, however, no universal policy recipe for the enabling factors to drive forest transition in nation states. However, there are well-established conceptual frameworks for the understanding of forest transitions and a growing scholarship on their complex and country specific enabling factors. This study takes the case of Iceland, a country that entered forest transition in the 1990 and puts focus on understanding the enabling policy and institutional factors. This came after a continuous historical woodland decline. From 1990, however, the Icelandic woodland cover has expanded. In the study we analyse a) the long delay in achieving forest transition after its became a national policy issue with a pioneer legislation in 1907 and, b) the multiple enablers and drivers for the forest transition in the 1990. Using mixed methods, the study contributes to the growing literature on enabling factors for forest transition and provides a novel analysis of the development of the Icelandic forest estate, its transition and drivers of current expansion.
Author: Liviu Nichiforel(University Stefan), Mare Suceava, Bogdan Popa
Abstract: A systematic approach for the design of a new forest strategy was carried out between July 2020 and February 2021 by the two main forestry faculties in Romania under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The process involved 226 stakeholders in a structured dialogue in order to formulate specific and substantiated positions on the strategic options for the national forest policy development. The results were based on the responses to two successive sets of questionnaires identifying options on 1) forest policy guiding principles (64% response rate) and 2) strategic directions for action and specific measures (34% response rate). The research highlights the varying degrees of consensus on thirteen proposed guiding principles. The important controversy among stakeholders’ groups is reflected in the rigid positions with reference to: i) the level of property rights restrictions; ii) the type of policy instruments needed to assure the continuity of ecosystem services and iii) the segregation vs. integration of biodiversity conservation in forest management. The results of the consultation process show that a transparent and rigorously structured dialogue makes possible the positive exchange of views. The results are discussed in the context of the 2021 EU forest strategy.
Session 4/ Parallel 1
Forest research in transformation: what sociologists can(not) contribute
Chair: Kathrin Böhling
Forests and the forest sector are faced with ecological crises and multiple socio-political changes that question previous goals and strategies of forest management. In response to these developments, forest science is undergoing a process of transformation as a scientific field. As there is an ever growing number of forest-related actors formulating competing claims in the forest political arena, the scope of themes and methods expands substantially, involving an increasing variety of disciplines. Challenges of interdisciplinary work follow in the wake of these changes, such as border-crossing between contradictory epistemologies. The transformation of the forest science field has recently been addressed at, for instance, the FoWiTa (Forest science conference). The proposed panel seeks to contribute to this debate by asking what sociological perspectives can and cannot contribute to the transformation of forest research and of forestry in general. Its purpose is to provide space for a joint and critical reflection of current research done by scholars employing sociological theories and methods in the realm of forest policy research. We want to share evidence and experiences of ‘doing’ sociology ‘in’ the forest sector: what are the merits, expectations, obstacles, and chances of bringing sociology ‘into’ the field and to the science-policy interface?
Author: Stephanie Bethmann
Author: Susanne Koch
Abstract: Forest policy research is not easy to bound. Contrary to what the name implies, it is concerned with much more than forest policy in the literal sense, and carried out by scholars with various disciplinary backgrounds. Despite this heterogeneity, forest policy research has developed into a distinct scientific subfield that delivers expertise informing national and international policy-making in a number of sectors. Given its socio-political relevance, the questions of what guides research practice and what values underlie knowledge production in the field are of great importance.
In this paper, I present insights from a praxeological study that seeks to grasp the scientific self of forest policy researchers and their understandings of doing science, with the aim to understand how it affects science-policy relations in the field. Thereby, I adopt a sociology of science perspective: I build on Bourdieusian field theory and specifically his notion of habitus to identify shared patterns of thinking and valuation that come across when forest policy scholars present and discuss their research. Empirically, I draw on text data generated by participant observation at pertinent forest policy conferences and reflexive interviews with scholars involved.
The reconstructive analysis of materials indicates that research practice is guided by an objectivistic understanding of scientificity, coupled with an affective identification with praxis: demonstrating objectivity and scientific rigour on the one hand, and being oriented at and supportive of practice on the other are values enacted when forest policy scholars ‘perform’ research. The paper highlights epistemic implications arising from this coupling, asking how they affect science-policy relations and the field’s transformative potential.
Author: Manuel John (DFG RTG ConFoBi – Conservation of Forest Biodiversity in Multiple-Use Landscapes of Central Europe, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg)
Abstract: Forest biodiversity conservation has become an important management objective in multiple-use forests in recent decades and different ways of approaching this issue have been developed and applied. One such management approach, “retention forestry”, focuses on the long-term retention of important forest structures like live and dead trees as well as deadwood at the time of harvest. Originating in the Pacific Northwest, it is now commonly applied also in regions like Scandinavia or Central Europe.
This conference paper approaches forest biodiversity conservation from a perspective informed by science and technology studies (STS) and the sociology of knowledge. What makes retention forestry a fascinating case for sociological inquiry is its position at the nexus of forestry practice, forest policy and forest research. Co-developed and promoted by scientists, leading researchers from the field establish, position and set relevant this management approach in their scientific papers in specific ways, which I will refer to as “problematizations” of retention forestry. Reconstructing and comparing these different manners of contextualizing their object of study not only sheds light on a field in which researchers of different background come together to work under a joint conceptual umbrella. It also allows to situate this branch of forest research in its broader societal, political and economic context.
Thus, the intricate ways in which forest research is linked discursively to its environment can be made visible. As different, sometimes conflicting audiences are tentatively brought together by ways of appealing to their sensibilities and values regarding forests and the central issues forest management faces, researchers appear not only as passive observers, but also as active participants in the debates on the direction forestry is supposed to be taking in the 21st century.
Author: Stefanie Steinebach
Author: Kathrin Böhling
Abstract: The transnational Fem4Forest project adopted a social scientific approach to implement its two main questions: (a) Why a change in women’s different roles in forestry is needed and why in the Danube Region? (b) How to implement changes in the forest sector? Desk research, surveys and semi-structured interviews are combined with round tables to engage with various stakeholders. So-called demand-driven actions are designed to effect change.
In terms of science-policy interaction, the project’s evidence base is the result of knowledge co-creation. Knowledge is co-created at transnational and national levels to be perceived as credible, relevant, and legitimate among decision makers, women professionals, and owners. The evidence-based engagement with forest practice aims at creating broad commitment, identifying feasible measures for change, and facilitating their implementation.
The Fem4Forest approach exemplifies a growing demand for social sciences in forestry and the forest sciences to make participatory research work for practice. Presenting the Fem4Forest approach in the sociology panel of IFPM4 seeks to critically assess its underlying rationale, and of its merits and shortcomings to effect change in the forest sector.
Session 4/ Parallel 2
Forests for human health and wellbeing: current experiences and future trends
Chair: Laura Secco
Abstract: As many people have directly experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, nature deprivation can cause damages to human physical, psychological and social health. It is recognized that natural environments such as forest and urban green areas hold restorative properties, facilitating attention regeneration, lowering the levels of stress and anxiety, increasing performances at school, preventing illness and more. Having experiences in forest has also proved to increase pro-environmental behaviours. There is a growing amount of scientific literature that demonstrates the positive effects on health and wellbeing of re-connection experiences in forests and green areas; and health-related stakeholders (e.g. psychologists, caregivers, educators, etc.) are studying therapies and educational activities in Nature. However, less is known about the forest policy and governance implications, as well as the innovations, that are needed to properly support these initiatives; how to evaluate their social and economic impacts; how health-related and forest-related stakeholders (e.g. forest owners, urban green planners) can collaborate; if reforms are needed. Adopting participatory techniques and offering an introductory presentation on the topic, the Panel intends to offers a discussion to share experiences, identify knowledge gaps, discuss methodological or political challenges for researchers who want to explore this Nature-Human interconnection.
Panel convenors: Laura Secco, Aynur Mammadova, Elena Pisani, Todora Rogelja, Ilaria Doimo, Colm O’Driscoll and Mauro Masiero
Session 4/ Parallel 3
Actors and their role in forest policy and governance
Chair: Marjanke Hoogstra (Wageningen University)
Authors: Jakob Kremer (Professur für Forst- und Umweltpolitik – Uni Freiburg)
Abstract: German forest management cooperatives are challenging far-reaching changes, especially due to changing values and goals of forest owners. In particular among small scale private forest owners, economic interests are playing a decreasing role. Motives such as nature conservation, tradition and recreation, on the other hand, are becoming more important. In addition, inheritance and changing lifestyles are causing forest owners to distance themselves emotionally and spatially from their property. Furthermore, the remarkable and growing proportion of women among German forest owners (about 40%) is not proportionally represented in forest management cooperatives, and female forest owners are systematically not encouraged to cooperate. Thus, we pose the question of which conditions lead to cooperation, considering all groups of forest owners with different goals and values. For this purpose, 15 cases of forest management cooperatives from Germany with different structures are analyzed qualitatively by conducting interviews for conditions of equal cooperation, which integrates diverse forest owners with diverse objectives. These qualitative data are supplemented quantitatively by a questionnaire addressed to many forest management cooperatives. With this mixed methods approach, the data obtained will be analyzed for presence and absence of different conditions for equal cooperation using qualitative comparative Analysis.
Authors: Eva Lieberherr (ETH Zurich), Leonard Creutzburg, Tamaki Ohmura
Abstract: The question whether carbon should be stored primarily as a standing stock (forest sink) or in harvested wood for material use (wood sink) is becoming increasingly important. Different policy instruments can be used to promote both options. We explore the question of which policy instruments different actors prefer to promote forest or timber sinks. In our case study in the canton of Lucerne we interviewed the actors relevant for cantonal policy. In the Swiss corporatist system, these stakeholders can significantly influence (future) decisions on the distribution of funding and resources. In the current economically and ecologically volatile situation of the forest, such policy instruments have the potential to impact both the forest and the wood sector. Conceptually, we arrange the instruments according to the degree of government intervention: informational, cooperative, economic, and regulatory. Using data from an online survey conducted in 2020 to evaluate existing instruments (e.g. information campaigns) and potential novel instruments currently used in other policy fields (e.g. direct payments to forest owners, similar to those used in agricultural policy), we provide an overview of the preferred instruments in light of the increasingly important question whether to promote forest and/or wood sinks.
Authors: Jude Kimengsi (Forest Institutions and International Development, Chair of Tropical and International Forestry, Technische Universität Dresden)
Abstract: While knowledge on forest-linked institutional processes is gaining grounds, they require complementary evidence on the role played by actors in such change processes. This is particularly the case in sub-Saharan Africa where natural resource-based institutions are undergoing a seemingly endless evolutionary process. This paper provides such evidence by (i) tracing the pattern of institutional change, (ii) estimating the role of different actor groups in shaping forest-linked institutional change and (iii) analysing the effect of change determinants on forest-linked institutional change processes in the Santchou Landscape. Data was generated through a representative sample of 200 forest-dependent households around the Santchou forest landscape of Cameroon. While a descriptive approach is used to trace patterns of institutional change, an ordinary least square regression is used to estimate the effect of actor groups and change determinants on forest-linked institutional change. The results suggest that (1) forest-linked institutional processes and structures have had varying changes in the last decade; structures have multiplied while processes remain fairly constant and less effective. (2) modernisation and the dominance of state structures significantly drive changes in institutional structures, while population growth, changes in youth explain observed changes in institutional processes. (3) despite the growing wave of the church as an actor group, it accounts for less than 10% of forest-based institutional changes in the Santchou Landscape. (4) while state-based actor groups apply force, threats and intimidation, NTFP and timber dealers use cash incentives to shape forest-linked institutional processes. (5) A positive change process is associated with in-migrants, the church, timber dealers and NGOs for both traditional rules and institutional structures, as opposed to only a positive structural change process for state officials and NTFPs dealers. Policy considerations that address the ineffectiveness of existing institutional processes, and re-empowers traditional authorities to protect traditionally-rooted institutions that regulate forest use are required.
Authors: Hanna Muttilainen (Natural Resources Institute Finland), Jari Miina, Ville Hallikainen, Juha Vornanen, Henri Vanhanen
Abstract: The global demand for non-timber forest products (NTFPs) is increasing due to the current trends in lifestyle and consumption. Forest owners play a key role in supply of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). However, forest owners are not committed to production or aware of the opportunities for production of their forests. Understanding better the non-industrial private forest owners’ behaviour and decision making regarding NTFPs is needed to strengthen the role of NTFPs in the Finnish bioeconomy. In this study, forest owners’ perspectives towards NTFPs, everyman’s right and organic certification of forests were identified. The survey data were collected by emailing the questionnaire to North-Karelian forest owners and analyzed by creating forest owner typologies based on their motives towards forest owning and perspectives regarding NTFPs. Based on motives towards forest owning, four owner groups of relatively equal size were identified as recreationists, conservationists, timber producers and testators. The forest owners were also classified according to the actual use of NTFPs and interest to produce NTFPs not under everyman’s right. Finally, we studied the role of forest owner typologies in how forest owners think about NTFPs production, everyman’s right and organic certification of Finnish forests.
Authors: Sabrina Rosa (University of Helsinki), Maria Brockhaus, Heimo Karppinen
Abstract: In countries where private forest ownership prevails, forest owners ultimately decide how and to what extent forests are managed. Hence, characterizing forest owners’ needs and motivations is crucial to developing appropriate policy instruments that foster forests and their ecosystem services. In Italy, although 66% of forests are private and said to experience low active management and increased abandonment, information on forest owners is almost inexistent. To start filling this gap, we investigated which role do forest owners from the region of Aosta Valley assume regarding forest stewardship, based notably on the meanings they attribute to forest management. To do so, 27 qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted (21 forest owners and 6 actors from the forest sector). Forest management was overall perceived as necessary maintenance to either ensure forest health and protective functions, or to limit secondary forests from appropriating cultural landscapes. Furthermore, data indicated that forest management is associated with a task that should be performed by the public sector, hence indicating a limited (and unwanted) perceived role in resource stewardship. Increasing stewardship would require, notably, to restore what informants called a “lost forest culture” and to adopt novel policy instruments that are better suited for engaging small-scale owners.
Authors: Annukka Näyhä (Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics)
Abstract: In Finland forest-based sector companies and their stakeholders are seen to have an important role in transition towards more sustainable society. However, there exist plenty of confusion and a high degree of polarization in the society about forests and commonly accepted future goals for the utilization of them as well as on the roles and power relationships of different actors. Yet, understanding sustainability transition is not possible without understanding these multi-actor relationships. This study contributes to understanding on the organizing societal system in which FBS actors and their stakeholders are embedded. Importantly, the study focuses on the power relations and strategic actions of FBS actors and their societal stakeholders. The data consist of textual analysis of media sources and grey literature during the period of 2018-2021. The analysis framework combines elements from Multi-actor Perspective (Avelino and Wittmayer, 2016) and Strategic Action Field Approach (Fligstein and McAdam, 2011). The analysis is currently unfinished and preliminary results will be presented in the conference. This study is part of the Academy of Finland project “Future-oriented collaborative business models as a remedy for the sustainability transition: Finnish forest-based sector as an empirical arena for the creation of a transition framework”.
Session 4/ Parallel 4
Forest extraction, trade and surrounding policies
Chair: Maria Brockhaus (University of Helsinki)
Authors: Fredy D. Polo Villanueva (Chair of Tropical and International Forestry, Institute of International Forestry and Forest Products, Technische Universität Dresden), Yitagesu T. Tekle, Georg Winkel, Lukas Giessen
Abstract: The FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) have been implemented in several tropical countries for more than a decade now. However, while there is a strong political and scientific interest in VPAs performance, there is no single study that comprehensively brings together all the scientific knowledge on their effects. Therefore, this paper aims to address this gap and reviews the scientific evidence generated in this field. We conducted a systematic literature review of available scientific publications (original n=169, selected N=33) where we classified the research according to their study design, their geographical focus and the effects of VPAs they report. We found that most of the reviewed studies are case reports using qualitative data and focusing on three countries: Cameroon, Ghana and Indonesia. Moreover, VPAs have had mixed effects. While their implementation have led to, for example, increased stakeholder participation, the development of transparency mechanisms and improved law enforcement; they have also contributed to the decline in timber export volumes to the EU from partner countries, favoured international access to forests to the detriment of local ones, and endangered the livelihoods of local stakeholders. The study concludes with knowledge gaps, future needs for applied and scientific research, and methodological implications.
Authors: Alizée Ville (University of Helsinki), Maria Brockhaus, Grace Wong
Abstract: Over the past centuries, the Congo Basin forest has successively been expected to provide wood products, carbon sinks, and economic growth, in apparent limitless proportions, to those involved in its forestry sector. Meanwhile, inhabitants of the region seem to be reduced to a source of opportunity (labor) or threat (drivers of deforestation) in the scientific and policy literature: these framings have crucial implications for equity. We examine how scientific knowledge production has evolved as commercial interests have shifted across time, investigating these narratives through a critical review of literature. We inductively code scientific articles, national forest strategies and commercial trade agreements from 1876 to present, retrieved from online databases and physical archives, with a focus on Cameroon and DRC. Drawing from political economy, we look for the agents, commodities and commercial processes which link institutional European commercial interests to scientific research agendas, examining how forestry practices and trade flows are legitimized, and how commercial interests in turn inform research inquiries. We end with a discussion about how these narratives have evolved over time, and how science and commercial practices have shaped and legitimized the idea of ‘benefits’ for whom and the structure of benefit sharing.
Authors: Josiane Kakeu (University of Leeds), Monica Di Gregorio, Jouni Paavola, Denis Jean Sonwa
Abstract: The performance of environmental policies is contingent on their integration into economic and development sectors. We assess the extent to which the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) is integrated across land-use sectors in Cameroon. REDD+ governance has been extensively examined, including the challenges of an integrative approach to tackling deforestation drivers, especially those lying outside the forest sector. Yet, these have focused on cross-sectoral coordination, granting little attention to whether there is political support for integration and requisite policy instruments. We apply a framework for environmental policy integration to conduct a comprehensive assessment of sectoral REDD+ integration in a congo basin country experiencing heightening deforestation rates. Drawing from policy documents and in-depth interviews with stakeholders from relevant departments, we illustrate how foresters’ concerns over inclusiveness-induced interest conflicts in forest management and land-users’ insecurity about their technical understanding and ability to handle forest matters compounded with dysfunctional integration instruments have played into REDD+ integration in Cameroon. Our study highlights the need to edify stakeholders about their respective roles in the REDD+ process to alleviate misapprehension-led disengagement. The need to amend integration instruments is equally plain, ie legitimising the zoning plan and addressing loopholes in the environmental assessment regulation.
Authors: Christian Pilegaaard Hansen (University of Copenhagen)
Abstract: There is considerable scholarly debate about the impact of the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan. This paper contributes to this debate through a detailed examination of its implementation in Ghana applying a Foucauldian governmentality lens. The paper illustrates that FLEGT frames illegal logging as the central problem, which relegates other problems – forest and tree tenure and benefit sharing – to secondary positions. It goes hand in hand with a knowledge production that produces ignorance rather than certainty and helps furthering FLEGT implementation. FLEGT implementation has enhanced consultation and participation of private sector and civil society, but it has so far been less successful in driving deeper forest governance reforms. Implementation focuses on technical issues failing to address inherently political issues. It maintains local populations living in and close to the forest as passive subjects with limited rights to the forest and influence over its management. The paper concludes that FLEGT implementation in Ghana needs to move from a technical focus to address political issues of tree tenure, benefit sharing and access, and suggest that civil society has a key role to play if this change is to happen.
Session 5/ Parallel 1
Sustainable finance: a promising paradigm for the forest sector?
Chair: Yitagesu Tekle (European Forest Institute)
Efforts to finance and shape action to fulfill the Paris Agreement and the SDGs have revealed different financing mechanisms, tools and regulation that are affecting the land use sector. While new EU regulation on sustainable finance tries to define for the first time what a sustainable investment is, the Global Forest Goal of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2030, thematizes the access to financial services and integration into value chains for small-scale forest farmers and enterprises as a main challenge. Our panel discusses different innovative financing mechanisms and regulations exploring the forest-finance nexus across the globe moving from the macro down to the micro level. Four presentations will be complemented by a moderated open discussion with the audience to assess what this new paradigm offers for the forest sector. The panel is a collaboration between Technical University of Dresden (TUD), CIRAD and the European Forest Institute (EFI).
Author: Anna Begemann (European Forest Institute)
Abstract topic: The EU Taxonomy: promoting forestry through financial regulation?
Author: Driss Ezzine de Blas (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, CIRAD)
Authors: Kendisha Soekardjo Hintz (Technical University Dresden, TUD), Jürgen Pretzsch (TUD)
Abstract: Forest farmers’ organizations (FFOs) have gained scholarly traction as a collective action mechanism to develop value chains of wood products from smallholders. In so doing, financial instrument facilitation and management is among the core tasks. In this study, we undertook a systematic global review and complemented the insights with two FFOs in Eastern Africa. The review elucidated the state-of-the-art of FFOs financial management and benefit sharing mechanisms. Empirical examples portrayed a tree growers’ association in southern Tanzania (Case I) and a forestry cooperative in northern Ethiopia (Case II). While Case I acquired grants from a governmental trust fund, the Ethiopian counterpart relied on membership monetary contribution and institutional support from its Union. Case I utilized the grants to buy certified seeds, which enabled them to produce quality seedlings, and sensitized them in financial management and reporting. Furthermore, they practice internal credit provision, which enhanced members’ financial literacy. Case II utilized the raised capital to manage a nursery for members. Revenue streams for both FFOs were membership fees or shares and sales of seedlings, wood and non-wood products. The benefit sharing mechanism of both demonstrated one that is shared between the organization and the members. Membership advantages are improved access to inputs and source of knowledge. However, capturing value addition of wood products and finding confirmed wood buyers were common challenges for both FFOs. Implications for further research are derived.
Author: Marcel Starfinger (Technical University Dresden, TUD)
Abstract topic: Tree for loan collateral mechanisms for financing forest smallholders in Asia
Session 5/ Parallel 2
Linking science, policy and practice through forestry advisory services
Chair: Vilis Brukas
Panel discussants: Teppo Hujala, Anna Lawrence
Regarded as a key forest policy instrument in most if not all European countries, forestry advisory services are an important part of the knowledge systems linking forest science, policy and practice. The advisory services face increasing strain due to changes in natural systems, like climate change with associated uncertainties; and in social systems, like diminishing funding of public advisory bodies. At the same time, there are new opportunities, for example, streamlining of services through novel IT solutions. This session aims to shed light on different facets of advisory services including but not limited to such questions as:
– What are the key trends in European forest advisory systems?
– How do forest advisory systems cope with institutional challenges, such as centralisation of public agencies or increasing diversity of forest owners?
– How are forest advisors addressing the augmenting and conflicting demands such as production versus environmental conservation?
– How does the performance of advisory services relate to the governance systems (e.g. focus on regulation versus information) and the actors involved (e.g. public versus private service providers)?
– Technological (like novel IT solutions) and social (like peers’ networks) innovations for advancing the advisory services.
Anna Lawrence, Teppo Hujala – Overview of European FOKIS (Forestry Knowledge and Information Systems)
Keeli Curtis – Key tension points in Swedish forest advisory services
Luis Andres Guillen Alm – Advisory services for developing the green infrastructure in Sweden
Björn Stenmark – Digitalising forest advisory services in Finland: promises and caveats
Teija Kanniainen – Promoting NWFP through information and advice?
Session 5/ Parallel 3
Chair: Gerhard Weiss (BOKU)
Authors: Todora Rogelja (University of Padova, TESAF), Joze Prah, Margaret Shannon , Alice Ludvig, Gerhard Wise, Laura Secco
Abstract:In rural areas SI emerges as a response to negative socioeconomic trends, bringing solutions that revitalize rural fabric through the voluntary involvement of the local community. We analyzed the type, extent, and scale of impacts of social innovation in the context of the revival of traditional charcoal burning in a marginalized rural area of the Charcoal Land in Slovenia. We used key informant interviews, semi-structured interviews, and document reviews. Our results show that positive impacts are highlighted across environmental, social, economic, and institutional domains. Over the last 20 years, the impacts scaled up and out of local territory to the higher geographical and policy levels. Five key success factors that were crucial for the revival of traditional charcoal burning in Slovenia: the embeddedness of innovator, same values but different objectives, strategic use of narratives for obtaining resources, and awareness-raising and promotion. Unfortunately, charcoal burning in Slovenia is not adequately recognized by policymakers, public authorities, and civil society. Flexible regulations, innovative ways of financing and supporting local inhabitants to build capacities are still needed in other to enable forest-based SI initiatives, like the Charcoal Land, to live up to its full potential.
Authors: Héctor Javier García Higuera (University of Padova),Laura Secco, Todora Rogelja
Abstract: Nowadays, Colombia is faced with many societal and environmental problems which severally manifest in rural areas leading to the loss of legal income opportunities, poverty, etc. Alternatives such as social innovation (SI) have emerged as a means for addressing the challenges of Colombian rural areas, due to their potential to enhance outcomes on societal well-being. This study focuses on the current policy framework for the development of social innovation initiatives in Colombia. A total amount of 25 documents from cohesion, rural and regional development, forest, environment, innovation, and touristic policies were analyzed. Qualitative content analysis was conducted and documents are coded in five categories according to policy instruments. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the representatives of eco-touristic organization Ecopalacio, located in the rural area of Cundinamarca, Colombia. Interviews were used to verify identified implications of national policies on eco-touristic organizations. Our results show the slow introduction of SI concepts and instruments into the national policy framework. The SI concept is not addressed directly in most of the policy sectors. Its significance and the untapped potentials are shadowed by other overarching terms such as “Entrepreneurship”. This context implies a barrier to the development of eco-touristic organizations and SI initiatives.
Authors: Ivana Živojinović (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU)), Gerhard Weiss, Alice Ludvig, Laura Secco, Todora Rogelja
Abstract: The potential of social innovations (SI) in the process of transformation of rural areas can be understood by looking at existing institutional structures for SI, relevant policy programs and instruments as well as the roles of various actors in these frameworks. On the case examples from Serbia and Slovenia, we aim to understand how existing institutional structures embed SI so far and what are the gaps and potentials within these frameworks. We did content analysis of policy documents and in-depth interviews with policymakers and actors involved in SI in studied countries. Results indicate that there is growing interest in SI in both countries, despite limited institutional support and vague understanding of the concept. This growing interest is mainly articulated by civil society organisations and representatives of social enterprises. In both countires, major actors involved include national policymakers, local administrations, and civil society organizations. A major factor that drives the interest are the external processes (i.e. Serbian accession to the European Union, EU funds for SI, etc.). Voids in governance structures on SI are present in both coutries. In Serbia this void is reflected in nonexistance of regulation on SI, while in Slovenia, regulations focus solely and inadequately on social enterprises.
Authors: Marko Lovric (European Forest Institute), Mario Torralba, Francesco Orsi, Davide Pettenella, Carsten Mann, Davide Geneletti, Tobias Plieninger, Eeva Primmer, Monica Hernandez-Morcillo, Bo Jellesmark Thorsen, Thomas Lundhede, Lasse Loft, Sven Wunder, Georg Winkel
Abstract: Reporting on income and profitability of forestry in Europe has traditionally been associated with national-level sources, though more detailed, disaggregated data are available in some countries. This data often focuses on marketed products, does not account for regulating and cultural Forest Ecosystem Services (FES), often aggregating all income sources, and rarely addressing regional or local differences. We address these issues by providing a spatially explicit, European-level analysis of the relative importance of provisioning, regulating and cultural FES for forest income, income change and profitability, as reported by forest owners and managers. The results suggest that, unsurprisingly, most income is generated from provisioning forest ecosystem services (i.e. forest products); but up to a quarter of it comes from regulating and cultural FES. Despite their reported growing importance, supplying the two latter FES categories is rarely perceived as profitable. The dichotomization between provisioning FES on one side, and regulating and cultural FES on the other side permeates the spatial analysis, resulting in two distinctive European groups. The most important result is the fact that almost two thirds of Europe’s forests are exclusively financially dependent on income related to provisioning FES; which poses a threat to sustainable supply of regulating and cultural FES.
Round table on the performance of international forest governance
International forest governance: performance, effects and broader consequences
Chair: Constance L. McDermott
The architecture of international forest governance has tremendously expanded over the last decades. As many as 41 ‘institutional elements’ were counted by scholars (from UNFF to UNFCCC to SDGs; Fernandez-Blanco et al, 2019). The million dollar question is whether these governance arrangements perform. However, views of various scholars differ. Some emphasize the fragmentation of the regime, the symbolic nature of the agreements, the ineffectiveness of the policy measures and the lack of addressing social inequality (Delabre et al., 2020; Dimitrov et al., 2007; Giessen, 2013). Others highlight institutional variety, the power of words and ‘positive’ environmental and social impacts on the ground (Arts, 2021; Sotirov et al., 2020).
This panel aims to bring this discussion a few steps further. Three scholars, who have extensively written about the topic, will, under the chairwomanship of Constance L. McDermott (Senior Fellow and Associate Professor in Land Use and Environmental Change, University of Oxford, UK), share and discuss their perspectives and findings:
- Maria Brockhaus (Professor of International Forest Policy, University of Helsinki, Finland)
- Lukas Giessen (Professor of Tropical and International Forest Sciences, TU Dresden, Germany)
- Bas Arts (Professor of Forest Governance, Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands)
Bas Arts – International forest policy: a fragmented non-regime that nonetheless performs
Lukas Giessen – The two faces of international forest governance: Regime non-policies & domestic customizations at the disposal of powerful actors
Maria Brockhaus – International forest and climate governance – promises of equity and development?
Brainstorming session on the future of IFPM
Open session – brainstorming on the future of IFPM
Moderation: Maria Brockhaus, Irmeli Mustalahti and Georg Winkel
We invite all those interested to a joined brainstorming session that aims to inform the next International Forest Policy Meeting (IFPM 5) in Finland in 2024. We would like to reflect on what we take away from IFPM 4: what are new and surprising insights; which issues were missing; where are gaps in our research on forest policy? What could be changed in the concept and orientation of IFPM, what should not be changed?